TWWP goes to the movies: “Bond, James Bond.”

There’s a new James Bond movie out. I think it’s called “Casino Royale.” I haven’t seen it and don’t plan to, though I did read the original book by Ian Fleming a long time ago. [1]

I’ve seen some of the ads, including ones with the famous phrase, “Bond, James Bond.”

And that reminded me that Mr. Bond and I have something in common, a common bond.

No. I’m not claiming to be a spy. I’m not even claiming to be super-sexy, even though I work in open-source and a recent NY Times column opined that open-source is sexy, as I reported in Open-source is sexy.

Mr. Bond and I do have a common bond. Our names are also words, as shown by the two “bonds” in the first sentence in this paragraph. For example:

Lady: Who are you?

Bond: Bond, James Bond.

Lady: Are you into bondage?

Bond: No. But I drink only bonded scotch.

From Star Trek:

Captain Kirk: Scotty. This is the bridge. Shields up.

Scotty: Dave’s already up. He’s working on his blog.


Dave: Ken. Would you like to join the Jikes Core Team?

Ken Coar: Yes, I’d like to be the Coar on the Core Team.

I was first introduced to this phenomenon by Jack Schwartz when I was at NYU. One of the profs was Peter Lax, and someone once sent him a clipping with the title:

Police Found Lax With Prostitutes.

I’m sure you can think of more examples.

I can too. One of the redmonk folks is James Governor. So he’s also governor as in

London taxi driver: Where to, governir?

JG: The governor’s home.


She: Who are you?

JG: James. James the Governor.

She: You’re a governor? Do you know about open-source?

JG: Yes

She: How sexy?

JG: Would you like to see my autographed copy of System/360 Principles of Operation?

She: From cover to cover, perhaps even under the covers!

James’s colleague Steve also qualifies:

Question: Who’s James’s partner?

Answer: Steve O’Grady?

Question: Steve Who?

Answer: The great one.

Steve! Of course. Oh great he is.


S: Our client wants some input on open-source governance. They don’t have much experience in this area.

C: I’m the new guy. Go talk to James. He’s our best governor.

J: I can help. I’ve already put out a blog suggesting one of our client’s major competitors shouldn’t even talk about the new project.

S: Brilliant! How is it going?

J: Quite well. Indeed, one of their employees who is also a member of the ASF board has become so addled by our client’s choice of license that he now spends his days using some magick open-source software to resize images of our client’s mascot.

S: Ah yes. The Duke. Has anyone figured out the secret?

J: No, so far only we know it’s really a girl. The model was someone one of our programmers met in a cafe. He left a hint, but I’ve heard that some clever person — a former programmer who now blogs a lot — has recently started looking into puzzling aspects of our client’s behavior. He might figure it out soon.

S: Yup. C-A-F-E-B-A-B-E [2]

S: Didn’t our client’s programmer formerly work for the competitor?

J: Sure, he’s one of several well-known open-source folks who used to work for the competitor. [3]

But how about me? Moi? Myself?

I recall a key moment in one of the few Hebrew classes I have taken. It was when the teacher said the word “mogen” meant “shield.” I guess because King David was the shield of Israel.

Imagine my astonishment. Ignoring plurals, I am “Mogen, David Mogen.” [4]

I don’t even mind if you get the order wrong, calling me, “David, Mogen David.” Because you are then honoring the wine that has been named after me. [5]

There is another kind of name binding, the one in which the names or real or fictional people have entered our language. For example, bowdlerize, fleuridation, gerrymander, malapropism, and spoonerism.

By the way, sorting out the names is the most difficult part of writing a Java compiler. Once you have name resolution done right, the rest follows. That’s also why “inner classes” made it much harder to write a compiler. It also made it harder to write tests.


1. The James Bond novels were the work of Ian Fleming. He became famous in the U.S. when then candidate John F. Kennedy let slip in an interview that he had read some of the Bond novels and had enjoyed them. This was taken as a sign that he was a “real person,” and some have argued this played a role in his election.

President Carter tried the same gambit in his campaign but he made an unwise choice, Playboy magazine.

2. See Why CAFEBABE?

3. Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, James Gosling and Rasmus Lerdorf. for example.

4. “Ignoring plurals,” meaning taking “shield” and “shields” to be the same word, is an instance of a “plus-or-minus-one bug.” This is a common phrase in the programmer’s jargon, a name for an error due to being off by one.

5. “Mogen, David Mogen” sounds a lot like “Moglen, Eben Moglen,” but I’ll try not to go down that road. We IBMers have to stick together.


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